On my way to the Richard Grayson exhibition last Saturday I formulated a few questions about his work that are particularly interesting to me in relation to my own practice as an artist:

What are the effects of an artist choosing to question ideas through the filter of the words of another person? In The Magpie Index Roy Harper’s views are thrown into relief and Grayson’s own perspective remains ambiguous.
How can we question those assumptions in ourselves that we don’t even know we have? There are various methods of doing this e.g. peer counselling and psycho-therapeutic methods which allow us to become aware of patterns of behaviour or long-held beliefs with the hope that one might be able to break free of them. How can we challenge these beliefs in each other? What mechanisms do we have for doing so? In standard educational models an older person is often in charge of educating a younger person. Perhaps it would make more sense if the older person passes on knowledge to the younger one who in turn teaches the older one how to think?
Art often questions our assumptions. How is this achieved in Grayson’s work? Through new uses of media and material, new use of a familiar form such as narrative and the chorus?
What is rational intelligence and what might it look like?
Grayson’s work comes across as human-friendly at the same time as it is challenging and uncompromising. How does he achieve this?
Where are the places where we have the opportunity to articulate what we believe? Especially if we are not and do not wish to be religious?
Susan Diab
Posted by Ryan Coleman on Friday 12 February 2010